Summer is around the corner and you can’t spend the whole time talking about Infinity War and reorganizing all your PlayStation figurines. Or maybe you can, but your mom won’t stand for it. It’s time to get a job. Any job, so long as it’s part-time enough to let you occasionally soak up the sweet rays of your TV screen. The problem is, what are you going to take? You’re an introvert. The last time you checked, jobs have a LOT of social interaction involved.
With all the things you don’t have experience doing, it’s easy to look for positions in the familiar. Podcasts, event teching, selling things online…that kind of thing. But art, science, filmmaking, and other nerdy jobs often demand more than a newbie can give, and even if you do get them, they might be short-term or unpaid internships. You need the money! And it’s no fun being ping-ponged from one temporary job to the next.
Considering all this, I brainstormed a list of summer jobs that might suit the entry-level nerdy introvert. Take it with a grain of salt—I haven’t had most of these jobs, so I don’t know what they’re really like. And every nerd is made up of so many complex personality traits and intricacies. Your greatest dream is someone else’s worst nightmare, you may say. With that in mind, let’s start the list.
Painting: Do you like working with your hands? Looking forward to some time outside? A painter’s job might be for you. Along with giving projects a fresh coat of paint, you might learn other construction routines like roofing and wall repair. It’s good for a practical mind who likes making buildings look their best.
Kitchen duty – pizzeria: Kitchen duty involves lots of cleaning. Lots. It’s enough doing the dishes at home! But everybody loves pizza, right? So you’d get some good business at a pizzeria. Sometimes you’ll probably shift to cashier and chef, increasing your daily amount of human interaction. So this job alone gives you experience in food service, cashiering, and customer service. If you want to broaden your palate, apply for a position in a small restaurant. You’ll probably learn new recipes along the way! Fun fact, the borrowed Italian term for a pizza chef is pizzaiolo, How’s that for sounding fancy?
Record store/DVD rental: Here’s an easy one to want. You will be interacting with customers all day, but you’ll get to talk about movies and music with them. You’ll also probably spend a lot of time rearranging materials and doing price checks—fun stuff for nerds who like to organize. Aesthetics are another plus. Some of these stores really go for the old touch, furnishing their spaces with relics that bring the atmosphere of a previous time.The downside is that these stores are often small, so they might have all the workers they need. Step up, step up, then, to a more available place…
Movie theatre usher: Again, you’re always working with people. But you get to be at the movies! Theatre duties often rotate, so you could gain experience one or more areas including ticket stand, concession, theatre floor, customer service, or film crew. It really tests your adaptability in a high-traffic zone. Employees get perks, too, so that action flick you’ve been eyeing might end up a discount show.
Troubleshooting/Technical Support Specialist: A go-to for the tech-savvy of the nerd world. Take your skills to the screens and make malfunctioning computers work again. This business is looked down upon in certain factions of society, including fellow nerds who might rib about you not having any life. But in reality, where would we be without the tech crew? This job is great for computer whizzes who want a professional foundation for their legendary troubleshooting.
Transcription: It’s a gig rather than a job, but if you have good Internet connection and great typing skills, take a transcription test and get started! Transcribers are responsible for captioning videos. You can guess it doesn’t pay much, but the more you finish the more you earn. You’ll build up a nice check or two, and it could introduce you to all sorts of interesting content.
Online education: Do you have a lot to say about a certain academic subject, but are too shy to TA at a real school? Online education sites seek help for a variety of areas. You could create lessons, edit papers, make a study guide, answer questions and more, in literary and visual formats (here’s looking at you, Powerpoint). These sites often teach at the college level but there are probably high school ones, too. As with every job that takes place on the Internet, make sure you’re offering your skills to a legit website and that you know exactly what terms both parties are to follow.
Writing: Many companies are on the lookout for proofreaders or editors for various kinds of papers. Sales sites like Amazon also hire content creators to describe their products. If you have a keen mind for writing or a knack for advertisement, give these a spin.
Auto repair shop: Similar to house painting, this job is suited to people with practical hands and minds geared toward machines. You’ll use your mechanical knowledge to keep cars running all summer long.
Gas station/Mini-mart: 7/11, SuperAmerica, ARCO…somewhere within your reach is a gas station or a mini-mart in need of the new. These’ll get some customer service experience under your belt. Even if it’s a general store like Buc-ee’s or a mini-mall in the roads of nowhere, you’ll likely be stationed to specific areas, so you won’t have to worry about things getting too hectic. Unless you’re working 7/11 on July 11. In that case, have fun surviving all the free Slurpees.
Entry-level office job: If you have good skills in Microsoft Office, communication, and organization, you have what it takes to be an entry-level office employee. You might not get as many hours as retail, but you will get great experience in an environment offering job security and solid pay. You will likely work a lot on the phone and face-to-face with clients, so if you want to challenge yourself with intermediate social interaction, seek something around the office.
Library page: No, you don’t have to turn the pages for the old folks who can barely move. Library pages are librarians’ assistants who spend a lot of time shelving books. It’s the perfect fit for the literary nerd with a passion for organizing.
Entry-level fashion: Do you have fun making the perfect wardrobe for every OC you come across? Hit the racks! Clothing stores always need summer employees. You could have sales floor duty in an outlet, create content on a website, or even join the design process for a new line of clothing. It’s great for nerds who love fashion. One note of warning is that the industry tends to be outgoing and tough, so there will be high demands for your persistence, endurance, communication, and creativity.
And if all else fails, go to the obvious…nerdy retail! You’ll be surrounded by your heart’s love. Retail is known for its horror stories, but what better way to make up for it than YOUR VAST KNOWLEDGE IN AT LEAST ONE NERDY THING? Retail thrives on engaging with the customer—enter your wisdom and expertise. You’d be surprised how much having knowledge of the merchandise improves your job. Best Buy, Hot Topic, GameStop, and tons more are all there waiting for you. Even if it does turn out to be a horrible job, you’ll still have the battle scars of honor and a nice big RETAIL to stamp on your resume.
Those are my ideas. Now, here’s some key reminders for the application process:
Find the company’s official website. You don’t want to get tangled up in a scam! Official sites often show up first in a search engine, but you can always ask an employee if you’re not sure.
Have all your resume info and cover letters ready before beginning an application. Nothing is more tedious than having to manually fill in your information from memory every single time. Also, some sites time out after a period of inactivity. You could have only 14.59 minutes to write that cover letter!
Apply exactly as directed! Sending an email when you’re supposed to apply in person will get you rejected from the job. Applying in person when you’re supposed to send an email will get you rejected from the job. Show you care by following the rules.
For Internet jobs like transcription or online education, make sure to apply to a solid, professional site with a presence. Thoroughly check out the site to see if it lives up to its purpose.
At an interview: Be sure to ask questions to ensure you know what the job entails. Employers love knowing that you want to learn about them and find a good fit! Also remember to dress nice—business casual is the norm but they might want something fancier. Sit up straight and look at the interviewer as you’re talking.
Contact if you don’t know! Call the company or send them an email with your inquiry. Explain that you’re interested in the job and would like to know _________. Remember to introduce yourself and, if over the phone, ask who you’re speaking to. And make certain you’re using your professional email—sending the HR of a company a message from “CoolguyChadtheDragonRider00@reptobattles.com” isn’t going to fare you well, no matter how finely it’s written.
Be extra careful typing information into job search engines. Your resume can send off to parts unknown if you apply through them, so you may end up receiving 40 emails a day from employers across the country. If you want to play it safe, apply through the company site or in person. And of course, unsolicited sites like Craigslist are crawling with scams. If anything sounds too fishy, obscure, or unprofessional, hit the back button and move on. It’s better holding off than putting yourself through hard work only to have your client disappear. If you do take a potential Craigslist client, sure to meet them beforehand in person at a public place, preferably with a good friend or family member. Tell someone you’re going to meet the client, too. If you do not want to pursue the offer for any reason, you have the right to back out. The possibility of a great job or great pay is not worth your safety, money, or even your life. Check out Craigslist’s pages about scams and safety measures to stay extra-prepared:
Lastly: Good luck!
This article was edited on June 12, 2018.